MARLBORO – Two officers from the Marlboro Police Department are being credited with saving a teenager’s life in the immediate aftermath of a serious motor vehicle accident.
On June 15 at 6 p.m., Marlboro police received a 911 call reporting there had been a crash involving two vehicles on Conover Road between Route 520 and Pleasant Valley Road. Police said the caller reported one vehicle was on fire with a passenger trapped inside.
Officers were dispatched to the scene and upon arrival they located a GMC Envoy partially in the woods. The front end of the vehicle was on fire. According to a press release from the police department, a Cadillac Escalade had collided with the Envoy.
The collision pinned a female juvenile who was in the back seat of the Envoy between the two vehicles. Police said the girl had been partially ejected from the vehicle.
Several officers attempted to push the Escalade away from the Envoy, but were unable to do so. Other officers attempted to extinguish the fire, but were unable to do so. At that time the fire started to spread from the front of the Envoy to the passenger compartment, according to the press release.
Police said Officer Donna Gonzalez and Patrolman Robert Kelly decided to use a patrol vehicle to push the Escalade away from the Envoy.
Kelly put the Escalade in reverse while Gonzalez got into her marked patrol car and pushed the Escalade off the Envoy, which freed the juvenile who had been trapped.
Officers then moved the juvenile away from the vehicles and began treatment. Shortly thereafter, the Envoy was completely engulfed in flames.
The juvenile was treated by members of the Morganville First Aid Squad and paramedics from Hackensack Meridian Health. She was flown by helicopter to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, with serious internal injuries and listed in critical, but stable condition.
The teenager’s condition was later upgraded to stable, according to police.
The fire in the Envoy was extinguished by members of the Morganville Fire Department. Conover Road was closed for an extended period of time, according to the press release.
Patrolman David Stattel of the Traffic and Safety Bureau is investigating the incident. As of June 17, the cause of the crash had not been determined. Police said drugs or alcohol do not seem to be a factor in the crash and said no complaints or summonses had been issued.
The driver of the Cadillac Escalade was a 57-year-old male resident of Marlboro. He was not injured in the crash and there were no passengers in his vehicle.
The driver of the GMC Envoy was a 17-year-old male resident of Marlboro. He was not injured in the crash.
Police said there were two juvenile passengers in the young man’s vehicle: the 17-year-old female from Freehold who was initially trapped, and a 17-year-old male resident of Marlboro who sustained what police described as minor injuries and was transported by ambulance to a hospital.
Marlboro Police Chief Peter Pezzullo arrived at the scene of the crash shortly after the juvenile was freed from the Envoy.
“If not for the officers’ decisive action, the young lady who was pinned between the two vehicles would have undoubtedly perished. Officer Gonzalez and Officer Kelly acted with swift certainty and relied on sound judgement. I am extremely proud of both officers and I commend them for their actions,” Pezzullo said.